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Birding in Venezuela (1 Viewer)

ntbirdman

Well-known member
Hi all, I've just started feeling this out so I apologize for not doing much of my homework yet...

I have a field job in the llanos this fall, and am looking into both a second job to follow it up, and independent birding during some down time. My questions are - how has safety been for travelers, particularly for individuals on public transportation and in the Andes? Is it as easy to bird by public transport as it is in, say, Costa Rica? As I'll be in the llanos for four months, I will be itching to go bird some other habitats, but I'm not sure if I should strike out on my own. I read the state department travel report on the country and the parts about safety are concerning. Not even the airport is safe, according to them -
http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1059.htmlv

Thanks,
Nick
 

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
Hello Nick! If you are looking for some extra conservation work, you might contact Provita, which is a long-established NGO focussing on threatened species. We have published, for example, the Venezuelan Red Data Books. I would be glad to try and sort something out for you if you can contact me by email. Birding by public transport in Venezuela is certainly possible, but not as easy as in Costa Rica. If you speak reasonable Spanish and use common sense, you should be fine. However, you should probably take the State Deparment reports with a large pinch of salt - although some of the information is reliable, the Department obviously has a political agenda too. Actually, the airport IS one of the most dangerous places to hang around and the further you get away from it, the safer you will be. Areas like the Andes, Paria Peninsula, Gran Sabana, Amazonas, etc., are fairly safe - and great for birding.
 

ntbirdman

Well-known member
Thanks Chris! As it turns out, my fall job requires me to return to the states at the end of the season. I certainly can't afford a ticket back to Venezuela, so all opportunities for birding and to continue conservation work there are shot, for now. We'll see where I end up next year...

~ Nick
 

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
OK Nick! If you do end up looking for some conservation oriented research or a sabbatical next year, then please let me know. Some good opportunities have opened up in the last few years and, for the moment at least, there is a lot of national finance. In recent years quite a number of foreign graduates, especially from the States, have become involved in conservation work, either in NGOs like Provita or else in the Science Institute's Ecology Department. There are actually a couple of ongoing projects in the llanos. Good luck! Chris
 

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